Last week, when Gov. Phil Bryant signed its religious freedom law, much of the news about Mississippi has been about reprisals. Business groups have vowed to boycott the Magnolia State. Showbiz figure Ellen DeGeneres swats the state, crying oppression. And Gov. Mario Cuomo of New York has banned "nonessential travel" to Mississippi.
All with mainstream media help -- dare I say encouragement?
Reuters writes up the alliance of business leaders and pro-gay groups urging the state to repeal the new law. First the story sets up Governor Phil Bryant as the whipping boy:
Bryant hailed the statute, the latest in a series of state laws opposed by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists, as designed to "protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions ... from discriminatory action by state government."
But top executives from General Electric Co., PepsiCo Inc., Dow Chemical Co. and five other major U.S. corporations, in an open letter, condemned the law as discriminatory. The letter was addressed to Bryant and the speaker of the Republican-controlled Mississippi House of Representatives.
The article is a near-textbook case of slurring by the numbers.
Partial quote in defense of the Mississippi law, with lots of quotes against -- check.
Sarcasm quotes around "religious liberty" bills, with none around "gay rights" -- check.
Ignoring religious leaders' viewpoints -- check.
Saying the law, and similar ones in other states, are "pushed by social conservatives" -- a twofer. There's the aggressive verb "pushed" along with the "conservative" red flag. Liberals, of course, never push. Nor are they identified here, although it should be obvious who is fighting the laws in question.
The main pinch of moderation is when Reuters reports: